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International

Jodi


I live in the United Kingdom (UK). My C. diff battle started in 2009 at the age of 29, just weeks after the birth of my daughter. I required a course of antibiotics and a hospital stay of five days following the birth of my daughter due to a retained placenta. Within about a week of being home is when I first noticed things weren’t right.

My symptoms first started as stomach pains which got worse over the following weeks. My symptoms progressed to severe diarrhea and excruciating pain. I had numerous trips to the doctors and hospital at all kinds of hours of the day and night. I was mostly told that I had postnatal depression, my symptoms were being caused by myself and my own worry, and basically to go home and enjoy being a new mum. I wanted nothing more than to be able to do just that; I was missing out on enjoying everything that comes with being a mum for the first time. I had to rely on family and my partner to do most of the caring for our daughter as I felt so ill most of the time.

My symptoms got worse, and I started to have cold sweats. I felt so sick that I could barely eat most of the time. My diarrhea wasn’t constant, but some days I felt like I spent most of my time in the bathroom. The pain was becoming too much to take, I felt confused and like I was losing my mind at times. I really felt that if someone didn’t find out what was wrong with me soon then I wouldn’t be around to see my daughter grow up.

I’d never felt this ill in all of my life, and I was getting tired of fighting this battle. This battle went on for nearly three months until I collapsed in a pain that I had never felt anything like in my life. It was even worse than giving birth! I was shaking from head to toe, sweating and really confused. I was rushed down to my local doctor, the one doctor that never turned me away, and he knew something was seriously wrong. He sent me straight to the hospital with a letter for them and told me not to come home this time until I had answers. I had been here so many times before just to be sent home again, and I was just so tired of fighting by this point.

This time was different though, and on arrival at hospital I finally got a consultant who promised me he would find out what was wrong. So to cut a long story short, I had presented at the hospital on this occasion with toxic mega colon. I was firstly treated for this, and then it took another few days to finally get a positive sample and the diagnosis of C. diff. I had never even heard of it and neither had any of my family. I was put into an isolated room for a whole month and treated with vancomycin. In that time, I cried more than I have ever cried in my life; all I wanted was to get well and be at home with my baby enjoying what should be the best part of my life. I felt I was not getting much better; some days were better than others, and I realized that this illness was something I was not going to get over that easily. I couldn’t understand why I just couldn’t get treated and get better but at this point I knew nothing about C. diff and how this evil illness works.

After a month, I was finally sent home, but felt something was still not right; I still didn’t feel 100% well. Within two days of being home I knew the distinctive stomach pains and knew that C. diff was back or had never gone away. I rang my consultant who told me to send in a stool sample straight away. I already knew that it would come back positive for C. diff and with 24 hours I got my results…positive! I was then put on a very long tapering dose of vancomycin and saw my consultant every week for a year.

It was a very long road to recovery with days where I felt I was heading straight back to square one. I thought I’d never get well and that I would be battling this for the rest of my life. I lost so many special moments with my baby daughter, I missed her roll over for the first time and lots of other little milestones. Nearly nine years on and I got there in the end. I got well again, but C. diff has robbed me of so much and the mental impact it has had on me is huge. I find it hard to trust anyone in the medical field, I’m too scared to have any more children with the fear of what I went through and knowing I came so close to losing my life (this I was told once I started to recover).

All I want now is for more C. diff awareness, for doctors to have a better understanding, and not go on text book symptoms alone. I was far from a textbook case. Reading peoples stories on www.cdiff.org has been the biggest help for me in realizing I’m not alone. There were times where I felt like just giving up. and I thought I would never get better…but I did. So please never give up the battle—your life is worth fighting for, and believe with the right treatment that one day you will beat this too.

Age


29

Gender


Female

Length


NINE YEARS

Source


Hospital Acquired

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